by Shan Qiao in Toronto 

Chinese people said goodbye to the Year of the Horse, welcoming the Year of the Sheep.

In the Chinese media this week, the housing market; our spiritual home; ties between Canada and China; and our Chinese representatives in the government were the main focus.

North York Town Home Owners Fight Against Toronto Catholic District School Board’s Offer 

North York townhome owners put up lawn signs to fight against the TCDSB

The housing market in Toronto has never been this hot and it seems that any given location listed is receiving bidding wars.

That’s not the case for the town homes at Bayview and Cummer Ave. The Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) wants to buy the land and expropriate all 30 town homes on it to build a high school. Their offer is $800,000 but the homeowners want at least $1.2M, according to Ming Pao Daily News.

When the homeowners were approached by TCDSB in 2013, most of them (one-third are Chinese) declined TCDSB’s offer.

Today, a dozen white lawn signs with “Stop” written in red capital letters show the fight between the two sides, with homeowners claiming they’re under threat of “Expropriation-based blockbusting” by the board.

Ming Pao Daily has interviewed several Chinese homeowners and realtors, indicating the market price is not $800,000 as the TCDSB offered. Realtor Shusheng Wu said that one unit was listed for $888,000 in 2013. A nearby new development unit at Finch Ave. and Leslie St. was recently listed for over $1 million. The report said there were homeowners asking for $1.2 million with no offer from the board.

Homeowner Mrs. Auyoung said it was not fair for people like her who have been living in the area for more than a dozen years. With familiar neighbours living closely and easy access to public transit, not to mention the freehold property and double garage, many of them feel it’s very hard to find any equivalent property in the area. 

Mrs. Lee, another resident, argued that paying only $800,000 to each homeowner will cost the board a total of $24 million, enough to build a new school without even counting the cost of a lengthy expropriation procedure and paperwork. The board’s insistence to get this land is another example of wasting taxpayer’s money.

Chinese-Canadians Ask Chinese Government to Issue 10-Year Visa

With more Chinese immigrating to Canada and becoming Canadians, going back to their home country easily is not always an option. Chinese foreign policy doesn’t grant duel citizenship, hence Chinese immigrants who have become Canadian will have to apply for visas to go back like other foreigners. Currently, the Chinese government only offers single or multiple entries from three months to one year, while the community is asking for a convenient 10-year multiple entry visitor visa that is equivalent to Canada’s 10-year “Super Visa.” 

The concerning topic affects almost every Chinese person now or in the future. An online petition has been launched by a Toronto-based popular Chinese website and two dozen local Chinese associations, urging China to address their needs.

Major Chinese media organizations have covered the story. According to Sing Tao Daily Newspaper, more than sixty overseas Chinese associations joined the petition from the west coast. The petition has been sent to MP for Vancouver-South Wai Young’s office. The NDP’s Don Davies, MP for Vancouver Kingsway, in the meantime, has tabled a motion asking Beijing to allow 10-year, multi-entry visas for frequent travelers between Canada and China. 

The good news is that the Chinese government is seriously considering this, according to Liu Fei, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver during a recent interview at a dinner gala. She said the 10-year Chinese super visa for visitors, business people and tourists will soon be available in the near future.

Chamshan Temple’s Peterborough Project Derailed After Paying $20 Million To Alleged Unqualified Developer

A prominent Buddhist Temple in North America, Chamshan Temple, has expanded to 11 locations in Ontario during the past several decades. It is the biggest Buddhist association in the country and has recently invested $40 million to build the “Wu Taishan Buddhist Garden” in Peterborough. The construction work started in 2011, with more than 20 construction companies participating in Canada and from China. However, the Chinese company Golden Luban, which is responsible for the Mahavira Hall’s wooden structure, is involved in a lawsuit that is jeopardizing the project.

The news first broke out by Chamshan Temple’s sudden news conference, alleging Golden Luban has no qualification to carry on the work; hence, Chamshan Temple terminated their contract unilaterally. The bad news is that the Temple has already paid $20 million to the company with little chance to get it all back.

The construction company’s legal representative, Guo Yongrao, claimed that the company has more than three decades experience in the industry. There is no definition of what kind of qualifications the Temple requires in the contract that the two parties have signed. He also argued that the Temple has overlooked if there was such a requirement by international or Canadian laws and that the company has no legal obligation to return the deposit, according to Singtao Daily News.

No announcement has been made after the two parties’ heated media war in January. Chamshan Temple said they tried to minimize the damage and push the construction back on track.

Asked about why the Temple chose Guo’s Chinese company without thorough examination on its credentials, Dayi Master, spokesperson for the Temple sighed and said: “Our Buddhists are so naïve to believe Guo, a so-called sincere Buddhist follower, and his company,” according to Singtao Daily News.  

Did MP C.S. Leung Offend the Iranian Community by Asking “Why Do You Come to Canada?”

Conservative MP for Willowdale C.S. Leung attended a town hall meeting last month in his riding where many Iranian immigrants live. According to 51 Weekly, Leung confronted Iranians when they complained about Canada and complimented Iran. Leung was caught on camera arguing, “Let me ask you, if you like Iran so much, then why do you come to Canada?”

The question immediately angered the participants with even one firing back, saying “And I can tell you, go back to China.” Leung is a Taiwan-born Canadian businessman who was elected in 2011. 

Leung has since released an open letter, saying, “I uncharacteristically responded in a way that was not professional. Although I felt attacked by some in the audience, I should not have responded in the way that I did.”

51 Weekly columnist Xinfeng praised Leung’s courage to step forward and take responsibility to defend Canada. He argued that those Iranians who immigrated to Canada inconveniently forgot their own country’s dark side. With UN sanctions and Canada cutting ties to Iran, difficulties such as Iranian passport renewal or money transfers between the two countries should be expected. Yet, Xinfeng also said that out of the approximately 120,000 Iranians living in Canada, he believes only a handful of people complain about Canada. 

A YouTube video of Conservative MP Chungsen Leung’s heated debate with Iranian-Canadians.

How Difficult is it for a Chinese Academic to Become a Professor in Canada?

51 Weekly wrote a feature exploring a lingering pain for Chinese academics: How difficult it is to become a professor in Canada? 

Zhenzhong Ma, Professor at the University of Windsor and Chair of the Odette School of Business, shared his own example in the feature article. He said it takes about six years to progress from assistant professor to associate professor with a yearly evaluation. Being a tenure means a professor’s contract with the university is permanent and secured. That explains why it is not easy to get a job opportunity if there is no vacancy.

The feature also claimed that based on statistics, “white” professors make up about 87% of professors in Canadian universities and those of Chinese background only make up four per cent.

Charlie Huang, a university lecturer, expressed his stress while on his long way of seeking tenure. He said he finds it is very difficult to apply for research funds, not necessarily because of his language and cultural background or even social skills. He has been a lecturer for five years, yet the pressure of talking in English properly was stressful during his first two years. He also hired a local language trainer to help him understand his students’ different accents and improve his English listening skills.

Shan Qiao is a Toronto-based photojournalist who used to work as a daily newspaper reporter. She currently runs her own company, Shan Qiao Photography, specialized in corporate event, editorial photos for news distribution and photo stories. She is also a feature writer for different corporate publications. See her work: 

{module NCM Blurb}

Published in China

The outgoing Chinese Horse Year proved to be a rough ride, more like a bucking bronco than a steady steed. After a long period of chaos and disruption on financial, environmental and political fronts, be glad the horse has left the barn and galloped into the sunset. Welcome the Year of the Goat, an interlude of relative calm and emerging stability that offers a period in which to reorganize and reposition ourselves to launch into a new orbit. The way things used to be done haven’t been working so now is the time to build a new paradigm.

The Year of the Goat (also Ram or Sheep) starts February 19th and is considered a pivotal year for initiating positive change, according to the Chinese zodiac. The overriding message: It’s time to get our collective and individual acts together.

By nature, goats are peaceful and easy going and by following the example of these quiet, thoughtful creatures, we are presented with an opportunity to rebalance our lives.  De-cluttering our homes and personal spaces is critical to freeing ourselves from old habits. Adjusting how we think can help develop new solutions to what previously seemed to be intractable problems.

Being mindful of our actions and how we conduct ourselves can improve the quality of our lives as well as strengthen relationships with those around us. Cast aside pessimism and negativity if you sincerely want to elevate yourself to another level of success in career, financial management or love.

Based on a twelve-year lunar cycle, the Chinese zodiac features a unique animal sign related to each year. These animal signs are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

The year of your birth corresponds to the animal sign based on the Chinese zodiac. 

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]The Chinese believe your animal birth year exerts a powerful influence on personality, decision-making and, ultimately, destiny.[/quote]

Match the year of your birth with the Chinese zodiac animal and follow the advice offered to help you successfully navigate the year ahead.

Rat: 1912 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008
Ox: 1913 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009
Tiger: 1914 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010
Rabbit: 1915 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011
Dragon: 1916 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012
Snake: 1917 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013
Horse: 1918 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014
Goat: 1919 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015
Monkey: 1920 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004
Rooster: 1921 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005
Dog: 1922 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006
Pig: 1923 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs.[/quote]

Clever, focused and relentless in pursuit of a goal, the Rat is highly adaptable in adverse circumstances that might force others with lesser resolve to cut and run. This ability to press on and persevere is the reason why you are well-positioned to experience a modest uptick in your affairs. Be grateful for small gains; the Rat and the Goat aren’t great partners. Your compulsive need to control everything that happens could ultimately prove ruinous. Having a plan is always good but know that things aren’t going to fit neatly into your spreadsheet of life perspective. Ease off the throttle, loosen your grip on reality and maybe get some therapy for that nagging problem.

Love Match: Dragon, Ox, Dog

Remarkable Rats: William Gibson, Phil Hartman, Avril Lavigne, Lourde, Lebron James, Mark Zuckerberg, Donna Summer, Monet, Alan Turing, Mehmet Oz, Eminem, Jim Henson


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Over-prepare, then go with the flow.[/quote]

Serious, hardworking, strong and dependable, you have an impressive reputation for pulling your own weight in all endeavours. Able to weather the storm by sheer will and strength of personality, you have many admirers. Linear thinking, while not exciting, is the way you roll. By keeping things simple you get results. The Goat advises you to lighten up just a bit and allow yourself to colour outside the lines. No one will ever think you a slacker so there’s no need to work as hard as you do. You’ve earned the right to enjoy the fruits of your labour. It should be a good year so let off some steam. Join the party and let it all hang out, at least till an hour past your bedtime.

Love Match: Rooster, Rat, Monkey

Remarkable Oxen: K. D. Lang, Wayne Gretzky, Michael J. Fox, Carly Rae Jepsen, Pharrell Williams, Larry Page, Keira Knightly, Stephanie Meyer, George Clooney, Michael Phelps, Ichiro Suzuki, Napoleon Bonaparte


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]The best way to predict the future is to create it.[/quote]

Tigers are an all or nothing kind of presence, hard to ignore as they swashbuckle their way through life. This is a year where the Goat wants you to temporarily back away from the grander schemes and focus on achieving more security and stability. It’s a good time to practice moderation in all things including dietary habits. Peace and quiet is a beneficial mantra to adopt, at least temporarily. All that pouncing can be hard on the body and the brain. Being less impulsive means making better decisions. To unwind, take up meditation or yoga. You’re in a position to help others so lend a hand. There will be bumps in the road ahead but nothing you can’t handle.

Love Match: Horse, Dog, Pig

Remarkable Tigers: Gordon Lightfoot, Peter Jennings, Nia Vardalos, Alanis Morissette, John Candy, Jim Carrey, Usain Bolt, Banksy, Robert Pattison, Lady Gaga, Hugh Hefner, Agatha Christie


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.[/quote]

Calm, careful and discrete in all matters, Rabbit people are often seen as conservative and introverted. This surface appearance hides a steely ambition, keen intuition and sharp analytical prowess. Rabbits know how to get ahead in the world and have good relationships with Goat so anticipate a year of measurable progress in all worthwhile endeavours.  Overextending yourself in certain areas might lead to health issues so guard against pushing your limits—or your luck—too hard. You’ll experience smooth sailing if you stick with what you know best. You might want to find a partner who can share that guilty pleasure.

Love Match: Goat, Dog, Pig

Remarkable Rabbits: Ellen Page, Sydney Crosby, Mike Myers, Kate Nelligan, Jet Li, Henry Miller, Bruno Bettelheim, Donnie Yen, Germaine Greer, Ingrid Bergman, Lewis Carroll, Confucius


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.[/quote]

Dauntless, charismatic and opinionated, the Dragon likes to put on a show and enjoys flying at higher altitudes. You like to be right and to have things done your way. To move forward in a Goat year, however, the best strategy is to pull back the claws, lower the flame and stake out a manageable position on the ground. Small, achievable goals are best and you can meet them with a methodical work ethic. Keep in mind that even the richest gold mines produce just grams of precious metal per tonne of ore. It will be a good year to evaluate what you really want to do with your life. Once that’s determined, get preparations underway because your turn will come soon.

Love Match: Rat, Monkey, Horse, Rooster

Remarkable Dragons: Alex Trebek, Jim Pattison, Diana Krall, Keanu Reeves, Dan Akroyd Amy Tan, Jimmy Connors, Adele, Deng Xiaoping, John Lennon, Vladimir Putin, Bruce Lee


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]You are not here to be average.[/quote]

What other people see as ego, pride and vanity, Snakes call self-assurance, self-respect and sex appeal. Able to parse the calculus of human behavior, Snakes can quickly size up a room and identify the motivations of others. Sticking to their own agenda, they hold themselves and others to high standards and will do whatever it takes to arrive at their destination. This year could bring agitation in diverse aspects of your life so the Goat counsels you to withdraw from the spotlight to uncoil and release all that tension, mental and physical. Emotional outbursts are draining so learn to control yourself. Redirecting this energy along more productive channels will lead you to warmer climates that nurture health, wealth and love.

Love Match: Ox, Rooster, Monkey

Remarkable Snakes:  Christopher Plummer, Edgar Bronfman, Frank Gehry, Terry Sawchuk, Taylor Swift, J. K. Rowling, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Daniel Radcliffe, Pablo Picasso, Charlie Watts, Alfred Nobel, Carol King


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]You think big, you get big.[/quote]

Strength, energy, and extreme intelligence combined with an outgoing nature are characteristics of the Horse. They can also be self-centered, headstrong and standoffish. The Goat gives you its blessing and wants you to succeed so move forward with confidence. Optimize the use of all resources and assets. Invest your time and energy wisely and the payoff is great. Associating with people who share a similar worldview will spark the beginning of a powerful momentum that will catapult you into another quantum orbital. A fresh attitude is key to making things happen. Everything is possible but with time limited, you’ll need to be selective about what you target. Act as if you cannot fail.

Love Match: Tiger, Dog, Dragon, Goat

Remarkable Horses: Tim Horton, James Cameron, Nelly Furtado, Angela Merkel, Emma Watson, Louis Pasteur, Brian Wilson, Clint Eastwood, Neil Armstrong, Lou Reed, Rembrandt, Martin Scorsese


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]The best time for new beginnings is now.[/quote]

Lovers, not fighters, Goat people possess a high intellect, are kind to a fault, and manage to live happily with others. Easy going and artistic, they are masters of going with the flow because, like a point guard coming up court, they can see the flow. Anything you want can be yours as long as you pursue it with passion and a well-conceived plan. Treat yourself to the finer things in life but don’t overindulge or neglect your well-being. Break up what feels like a routine. It’s time to expand your horizons. Reinvigorate your soul by traveling some place you’ve always wanted to go but eat street food instead of going to restaurants.

Love Match: Rabbit, Horse, Pig

Remarkable Goat: Alice Munro, William Shatner, Joni Mitchell, Pierre Trudeau, Evangeline Lilly, Bill Nye, Barbara Kingsolver, Yo-Yo Ma, Jeff Koons, Evangeline Lily, Michelangelo, George Harrison, George Jones


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Push harder than yesterday if you want a different tomorrow.[/quote]

Mentally quick, witty, and playful, the Monkey enjoys practical jokes and delights in rousing the rabble. At the same time, you are a thinker, perching just outside the three-ring circus of life to take things in and wonder exactly where it is you fit. This is the year the Goat wants you to act on fulfilling your dreams. Take a giant step outside your comfort zone even if you’re not sure what you’re doing. It’s a transition period so you need to break free of familiar patterns. Open your mind to new experiences and commit that nervous energy to taking a chance. Embrace change. If you do, this will be a time of fantastic growth.

Love Match: Rat, Ox, Dragon, Snake

Remarkable Monkeys: Celine Dion, Kim Cattrall, Ryan Gosling, Adam Gopnik, Lorne Michaels, John Kenneth Galbraith, Miley Cyrus, Ian Fleming, Lucy Liu, Harry Houdini, Tony Hawk, Leonardo da Vinci


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Don’t look back—you’re not going that way.[/quote]

The Rooster is resilient, meticulous, ebullient, tenacious and sensible. But you can also be cranky, overzealous and pretentious, not to mention noisy. The Goat isn’t inclined to do you any favors so be warned. There will be obstacles in your path and you will be tested. Rather than face problems head on and risk cranking up the stress levels, accept that there are some things that can’t be changed. Find a safe place to hole up and take stock. Career, money and relationships need to be reviewed and reconfigured. It’s worth the effort. Your reward is rejuvenation and a fresh perspective.

Love Match: Ox, Dragon, Snake, Rooster

Remarkable Roosters:  Roberta Bondar, Neil Young, James A. Naismith, Maurice Richard, Robert Goulet, Roger Federer, Aung San Suu Kyi, Helen Mirren, Cameron Crowe, Pete Townsend, Itzhak Perlman, Joan of Arc


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]If the plan isn’t working, change the plan but never the goal.[/quote]

The Dog is a bundle of contradictions. Attentive, warmhearted and loyal, you can also turn nasty, become disagreeable and be impossible to live with. Dogs and Goat don’t rank high on the compatibility charts so expect life to be a little fractious. Because you’re a social person, you’ll be able to navigate the twists and turns with a little help from your friends. Finances could be tight so curb extravagant spending now. You’ll always have enough of everything but only because you continue to be frugal. Pay attention to staying physically strong and keep a clear mental outlook.

Love Match: Tiger, Rat, Horse, Rabbit

Remarkable Dogs: Leonard Cohen, Ivan Reitman, Justin Bieber, Jane Goodall, Tiny Fey, Bill Watterson, Maggie Smith, Keith Moon, Golda Meir, Brigitte Bardot, Jacques Cousteau, Phil Mickelson


[quote align="center" color="#999999"]The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.[/quote]

The authentic and sincere Pig knows how to enjoy the finer things in life on both high-brow and low-brow ends of the spectrum. You’re good company, people seek your advice and you are generous with both your time and money. You and the Goat get along famously and this year good things are scheduled to come your way, hand over cloven-hoof—if you keep your eyes open for opportunity. Previous hard work and astute management of your personal, household and business affairs place you in an advantageous position. Be your usual smart, shrewd self and you can’t lose. Numerous achievements are attainable if you maintain perspective on what needs to be done.

Love Match: Rabbit, Tiger, Goat, Rat

Remarkable Pigs: Donald Sutherland, Marshall McLuhan, Doug Henning, Charles Best, Bryan Adams, Lee Kuan Yew, Nigella Lawson, Paul Cezanne, Jules Dassin, Herb Alpert, Tracey Ullman, Al Capone

Reprinted with permission from the Asian Pacific Post.

Published in Arts & Culture
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 04:00

Rethink Ethnic Event Sponsorship

by Iris Chen (@iris_chenin Vancouver

Event sponsorship management, especially the evaluation and selection process, could be a time consuming task and a headache for many marketing managers. On top of that, the activation and measurement of the sponsorship, especially the ethnic ones, are also very challenging. I have been sitting on both sides of the fence and learned lots of lessons. 15 years later, with many sponsorship proposals coming through my inbox again, I could not help but wonder: are we getting too happy, too comfortable, and lazy with the status quo? Is it time to rethink the meaning of sponsorship?

Cultural events such as Chinese New Year, Diwali, Eid, Vaisakhi, are obvious and easy candidates for ethnic event sponsorship. Certain communities celebrate these special times with or without a major community event. There is also no need to explain or communicate the importance of these cultural events to marketers. The target market and measurement of the outcome are also obvious: attendee numbers plus the media coverage/ impressions.

It is a certain group of people speaking certain language gathering at a particular location. I have no doubt many sponsorship managers would feel like Santa Claus, offering gifts to the community, while watching them sing and dance in a language not in English nor French, and smiling with content. Ethnic event sponsorship checked and accomplished. Next!

The celebratory events (or events that are not rooted in a cultural occasion), such as the Caribbean Festival, Bhangra Festival, and Taiwanfest, are a little bit trickier. With the growing popularity and attendee numbers from diverse backgrounds, some may argue that these events are no longer in the “ethnic event” category; they are “mainstream” events.

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Sponsorship, like a marriage, is about finding the right fit.[/quote]

For a sponsorship manager, on top of the corporate guidelines, there are many factors to consider and to balance. It is a thin line many sponsorship managers would rather not to walk.

Why venture into uncharted territories with unknown risks? How are we going to activate the event sponsorship effectively? How are we going to handle the multi-lingual signage? Are we going to support the sponsorship with media and PR efforts? How are we going to define and measure the event KPIs?

Sponsorship, like a marriage, is about finding the right fit. Some, no doubt, prefer the old-fashion marriage – if it’s working, let’s just continue doing what we always do. Some may prefer experimenting in order to bringing something new to the partnership, but it is risky and often results in failure. So why bother to change?

Change is the only constant in life. Charlie Wu of Taiwanfest said:

[quote align="center" color="#999999"]Change is the most important ingredient to advance diversity. Keeping the status quo is what's aiding the ghetto-ization of the community.[/quote]

I always believe one of the main objectives of a cultural event should be sharing our unique culture and create a dialogue with other cultural groups. The irony is, if sponsors still measure the success of a cultural event based on how many people speaking a certain language they have reached, in keeping the status quo, the sponsorship may do more harm than good for an event’s growth.

I am very lucky to live in Vancouver, where diversity is a reality, with creativity and innovation valued and encouraged. Diversity is about sharing, about cultivation of the new experience. I prefer to see cultural event sponsorship as a mutual mentor-mentee relationship – give and take, learn from each other. The bottom line is about building a successful partnership.

Iris is an accomplished marketing and business development specialist and award-winning writer with particular strength in cross-cultural communications and public relations.

This piece was originally published on the Hamazaki Wong blog and is being re-published with permission from the author. 

Published in Economy

New Canadian Media provides nonpartisan news and views representing all Canadian immigrant communities. As part of this endeavour, we re-publish aggregated content from various ethnic media publishers in Canada in an effort to raise the profile of news and commentary from an immigrant perspective. New Canadian Media, however, does not guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views and opinions contained in content from such other sites. The views expressed on this site are those of the individual writers and commentators, and not necessarily those of New Canadian Media. Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved